Bowls3Five Weekend Summary by Lindsay Knight
Takapuna’s big entry into Bowls North Harbour’s inaugural 3-5 weekend paid off with successes in both finals at the Mairangi Bay club on Sunday.
In the championship final a powerful trio of Simon Poppleton, multiple centre champion Lisa Parlane and former Black Jack international Wendy Jensen beat a game Northcote line-up of Shaun Bayne, Anne Osborne and Mike Haggart.
And in the plate final Wynne Gray, Jerry Belcher, both sixth year players, and Lauren Mills split the sets with Orewa’s Walter Howden, Elaine McClintock and Kerin Roberts but prevailed in the tie-breaker.
Poppleton showed that he will be an asset to the centre with some commanding play at skip, especially in the second set which Takapuna won 10-0 after just four of the five ends.
He played some effective draw bowls to deny Northcote on at least two ends when they were holding shots. An accomplished indoor bowler as well, a game he first played when he was aged eight, Poppleton started his outdoor bowls with the Upper Hutt club in the Wellington, then played for many years in Bay of Plenty.
While Parlane and Jensen have heaps of centre titles, Poppleton has just four spread over various centres.
Though overcome in the final, it was an excellent effort by Northcote to make the final, particularly as at two it had a relative newcomer to this level in Osborne. But she did well and played her part in a win over a solid Orewa side in the semi-finals.
In their semi-final the Poppleton triple just won in a tiebreaker from Manly’s Dennis Polkinghorne, Kevin Rainsford and Jenny Wilson. Manly also deserved credit for going so deep into the tournament as on Saturday it almost missed the post-section play. It won just three of five qualifying matches but went through with a slightly better differential than another Takapuna team skipped by Bob Telfer.
Strong winds on both days made conditions difficult for all bowlers and for the post-section there was an additional challenge because matches had to be played on the carpet after Mairangi Bay’s grass greens had been flooded by the early morning downpour.
Takapuna’s big entry, which answered a call from Bowls New Zealand to have as many players involved as possible, saw it gain six of the 16 post-section spots, with Orewa having three, Birkenhead and Manly two each and Northcote, Helensville and Milford one each.